Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Home in Two States!

Traversing the ICW in Florida became a ho-hum adventure. We love the mansions that dot the shore lines, but when they are set in narrow channels with bulkheads, even our own wake creates a ricochet effect we tired of. Sure we saw "a pony upon a boat" south of Daytona  Beach and dolphins and manatees kept us company, but we grew destination orientated. We spent two nights in Melbourne, Fl, for rain and wind, followed by two nights in New Smyrna Beach. We tried the newly expanded marina in Ft. Pierce, which is where we should have gone outside and blown down to Miami. Instead we opted for a single night in Old Port Cove Marina and Resort in Palm Beach, right on Lake Worth where we have anchored in the past. Nice find, we would recommend it, even if you split your wait time with the Lake. 

From there we made what I consider one of those "I'm not-doing-that-again" decisions. Temperatures were in the high eighties, we couldn't sail any of our old haunts, and we elected to clear the final 22 bridges in ten hours. It would have been a shorter day if two of the bridges had not had mechanical difficulties. Flagler Bridge is now opening only once an hour at quarter past. After an hours wait there, we waited more than an hour for the next bridge to be opened manually and under duress. This waiting always results in us fighting current and trying to hold our position, doing donuts or sailing back up stream and lapping the waterway until the tender says we may pass through. This year we added the stress of paddle boarders crossing the waterway at Boca Resort, a service the resort should not provide! But all ended well, we made Lauderdale by 5:15, had a cheap dinner on A1A across from the beach, and crashed before our last day on the water. This trip it is the admiral who is saying, "No more ICW. Seen it, been there, give me ocean sailing next year." 

Our run to Miami was as uneventful as this whole trip was. Sadly, we had 4-5 knot winds, 4  foot seas and we were forced to motor all the way. The good news is that we were safely  tied in our new slip in Coconut Grove about 1 PM and we were ahead of the cold front expected Friday. We made our November 15 goal by two days and had a safe, simple passage. 

So, from Miami it was a two day drive home to Delaware for family time. It was hard to leave that tropical feel when you knew it will be so cold up north but we will enjoy the family and look forward to Miami after the New Year. Happy holidays to all and best wishes for fair winds and safe crossings to our sailing friends. We will see you in the Bahamas!